The Breakdown: A look at all 8 Seahawks 2020 NFL Draft picks
Apr 25, 2020, 2:31 PM | Updated: Apr 26, 2020, 10:13 am
The NFL Draft was different this year, but the Seahawks at least provided us with some normalcy. That is to say it was a typically weird Seahawks draft.
Everybody expected them to trade down from their No. 27 pick in the first round. So, they kept it.
They needed help especially with the pass rush and offensive line, and there were some who thought they could even take a running back high in the draft. So, they took a linebacker with their top pick.
And just when we thought they were done, they repeated their move from 2019, trading back into the draft in the final round to take a receiver. Or tight end. Maybe both?
We were following the whole way through, and now that the draft is in the books, it’s time to break down every pick Seattle made. These are just short synopses of each player taken in the draft by the Seahawks, so be sure to click the links at the end of each profile for much more in stories by 710Sports.com’s Brandon Gustafson and football insiders like Danny O’Neil and John Clayton.
Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech (27th overall)
The Seahawks came into the draft with some very obvious areas of need. The pass rush has been the centerpiece of offseason conversation relating to the team, the offensive line hasn’t been far behind, and there’s also the fact that Russell Wilson has asked for more weapons on offense. So of course Seattle started its draft off with…
The only thing that’s for sure about a Seahawks draft is nothing’s for sure.
Once the pick of Brooks was made and 710 ESPN Seattle’s football experts had a few minutes to wrap their heads around it, however, it made more and more sense. Former NFL players Brock Huard and Dave Wyman were on our draft show with Bob Stelton when Brooks was picked, and they realized that he does in fact fill an important hole for Seattle.
“What is a position of need for this team? What did Dave Wyman say at the start of the draft show? What is the biggest thing this defense needs?” Huard posed.
“A hammer,” exclaimed Wyman, eternally a linebacker.
“It needs a hammer,” continued Huard, “and there was not a D-end (left in the draft) that was a hammer after (K’Lavon) Chaisson goes off the board at 20.”
As Huard and Wyman went on to explain, Brooks was a stellar tackler during his career at Texas Tech, a team not known for playing stingy defense, and his exceptional speed (he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds at the NFL combine) will carry a lot of value in Pete Carroll’s defense.
• Seahawks keep their 1st-round pick, draft Texas Tech LB Brooks
• 710 reacts to the Seahawks’ 1st-round pick Jordyn Brooks
• Seahawks ‘surprised’ Brooks with pick, say he ‘checks all the boxes’
• Clayton: If Seahawks get a starting DE, their pick of Brooks is fine
Darrell Taylor, DE, Tennessee (48th overall)
Ah, that’s more like it. After giving their fan base a scare on Day 1, the Seahawks actually addressed their pass rush on Friday. They even traded up to do so, something rare – but usually successful – under general manager John Schneider.
Taylor comes to Seattle as a player with a strong upside, which is to say his athleticism stands out more than his production in college. In Taylor’s NFL.com prospect profile, analyst Lance Zierlein said he has “five-star traits, but three-star skill level at this point.”
Regardless, the Seahawks are very excited to get him. Schneider said they considered taking Taylor in the first round Thursday, then spent much of Friday trying to trade up to get him. Carroll, meanwhile, replied enthusiastically to a question about Taylor fitting the prototypical profile of the “leo” position in Seattle’s defense.
Pete Carroll asked if Darrell Taylor is typical LEO: "Yes he is, he's exactly that."
— Stacy Jo Rost (@StacyRost) April 25, 2020
Damien Lewis, G, LSU (69th overall)
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the state of the Seahawks going into the draft was their offensive line situation. They have a ton of O-linemen – the selection of Lewis made it 19 – but there’s as much of a question mark about that position group as anywhere else on the roster. Add in the fact that the uncertainty about how much time on the field is taken away due to the ongoing pandemic is not something that favors rookie linemen, and it was hard to figure out how Seattle would handle the position in the draft.
They still used a higher-round pick on Lewis, however, and they expect the 2019 national champion to compete right away for a starting spot. Lewis’ experience playing on LSU’s line after transferring from a junior college was big for Seattle, as well. As Schneider put it, he’s “already played 22 games of big-time football.”
Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford (133rd overall)
The curveballs kept coming from Schneider and Carroll.
Sure, the Seahawks could use another target for their franchise quarterback as well as somebody to help protect him. It just didn’t seem likely for them to address both of those needs by adding to a crowded tight end room. And yet here we are with Colby Parkinson, who at 6 foot 7 will be quite the easy-to-find target for Wilson in the red zone.
Parkinson was used almost like a sixth offensive lineman in Stanford’s system, according to Danny O’Neil, and Pro Football Focus noted that he didn’t drop a single pass in 2019. And as Brandon Gustafson pointed out in our story about Parkinson’s selection, Seattle may now have a trading chip on their hands with the depth at tight end.
Deejay Dallas, RB, Miami (144th overall)
The Seahawks needed depth at running back. They like physical, bruising runners.
Meet DeeJay Dallas, who fit the bill for Seattle with its second pick of the fourth round.
Dallas was Miami’s leading carrier as a junior in 2019, and what is considerably notable is that he overcame a fumbling issue as a sophomore. After committing four fumbles in 2018, he saw a sports psychologist and didn’t commit any last season despite being giving more handoffs than any other Hurricanes player.
Alton Robinson, DE, Syracuse (148th overall)
If there was one position where Seattle probably needed to draft multiple players, defensive end was it. The Seahawks made that happen with the selection of Robinson, which got former Seahawks quarterback Jake Heaps very excited.
“Heaps tweeted. “Robinson will be a contributor to them right away. Not an every down player but will be fantastic as a pass-rushing specialist. Interesting note here: Worked with Cliff Avril during the pre-draft process.”made a great selection here with DE Alton Robinson. Explosive player with immediate pass rush ability. Love it,”
Freddie Swain, WR, Florida (214th overall)
This draft was said to be about as deep as it gets at the wide receiver position, and the Seahawks dipped into that pool with what was originally their final pick of 2020.
Freddie Swain out of Florida checks in at 6 feet tall and 197 pounds, and he runs a 4.46 40-yard dash. Swain could factor into Seattle’s return game due to his speed, but his NFL.com prospect profile indicates he needs polish as a receiver. He had 517 yards and seven touchdowns on 38 receptions in 12 games as a senior in 2019. He also rushed for 27 yards on four carries.
Stephen Sullivan, WR/TE, LSU (251st overall)
In 2019, it was John Ursua who Seattle thought enough of to not take a chance on him becoming an undrafted free agent, so they sent a 2020 sixth-round pick to Jacksonville and took him in the seventh round. This year, they sent their 2021 sixth-round pick to a different Florida team – the Miami Dolphins – and took Stephen Sullivan, making him the second player from LSU in their draft class.
There was a little confusion on what Sullivan is at first. Though some outlets referred to him as a receiver, Carroll said after the draft that Seattle is looking at the 6-5, 248-pound Sullivan as a tight end, which is what he played at LSU. Sullivan ran an unofficial 4.66 40-yard dash and he’s coming off a senior season where he made 12 receptions in six games for 130 yards and no touchdowns.
Additional Seahawks draft coverage
• Rost: Superlatives for the Seahawks’ 8-player 2020 NFL Draft class
• 710 ESPN Seattle’s 2020 NFL draft tracker
• Rost: Seahawks’ draft has been quintessentially unpredictable
• Hawks ranked No. 1 in 2020 NFL Draft in athleticism after two days
• O’Neil: Seahawks running out of time to boost pass rush after Brooks pick
• Clayton: If Seahawks can get a starting DE, the Brooks selection is fine